Drink Water in Plenty
The hotter it is, the more likely you are to sweat, which leads to a loss of bodily fluids that must be regularly topped up by drinking water. Doing so also helps lower your body temperature, keeping you cooler in the heat.
If those fluids are not replaced, however, you may suffer from dehydration, and even mild dehydration can cause dizziness, fatigue, stomach upset, and nausea. This can lead to lower levels of concentration, which can be dangerous for you as a driver, along with the motorists around you, which is why you must stay on top of this during the hot summer months.
Make sure that you are adequately hydrated beforehand and that you have a healthy supply of water in your HGV before setting off for your journey. You can also consider freezing some bottles and using them as ice packs, allowing them to defrost during the journey to keep them as cold as possible to drink later on.
Be Mindful of the Glare
Driving in the summer months carries a greater risk of your vision being impaired by the sunlight, particularly when driving towards it. This can be quite the distraction and can cause you to react slower to issues on the road.
All HGV drivers should ensure that they have a pair of sunglasses that also protects the eyes from harmful UV rays from the sun, on hand to have glare-free vision.
Wear Sun Cream
You should always wear sun cream in the summer, even inside your truck. Increased UV rays from the run also means a higher risk of sunburn, even when seated inside your truck. It could be that only part of your body is getting a ‘trucker’s tan’, but consistent sun exposure to the same area could be dangerous and it is still important to have all of your skin protected from it. Ensure that you have a good sun cream that protects you from both UVA and UVB rays.
Prepare Your HGV
The heat is obviously difficult for us to deal with as humans, but it can also lead to issues with vehicles, such as your HGV, too. Watch out for the following problems that may arise when it’s hot:
Hot weather can be a major problem for your tyres. As everything around them heats up including the tarmac, the air, and the external metal, the risk of blowout increases as tyres build up both heat and pressure very quickly.
A blowout can occur if the tyre heats up to over its design specifications. There’s nothing much to do to ensure that your tyres stay cool, but you can make sure that they are inflated properly to manufacturers’ specifications since under-inflated tyres also increase the risk of blowouts.
The fact that cold weather can impact your brakes is common knowledge, but, hot weather can also affect the performance of your brakes in a negative way.
Once the brakes are activated, they can cause friction that generates heat and if the outside temperatures are already warm, the heat will be likely far more significant and harder to reduce. This can lead to brakes becoming unpredictable, losing their effectiveness, or failing entirely.
To avoid this, make sure that your brake fluid is not too old, your brake pads are in good condition, and that you have enough time to slow down before braking whenever possible.